Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos were involved in one of the most memorable bouts of the evening at UFC 262 on Saturday.
After a back-and-forth standup battle, Burgos was stunned by a Barboza right hand in Round 3, which resulted in a delayed reaction from the Team Tiger Schulmann representative. Burgos kept his footing momentarily but eventually tumbled to the canvas, and Barboza finished off the contest with a couple follow-up strikes 1:16 into the period.
“It was kind of crazy,” Barboza said of the finish. “I honestly didn’t really understand what happened at the time. After the fight was over, I was still moving forward and saw that he was dropping. I saw he couldn’t defend himself, but I didn’t understand what happened. I asked my coaches what had dropped him, because I didn’t see it. I want to rewatch the fight and see what exactly happened.”
Burgos, who appeared to be gaining momentum in the second frame before the stoppage in Round 3, released a statement on fight via Instagram.
“Overwhelmed by all the love and support I’ve been getting,” he wrote. “This sport can bring the highest highs of highs and the lowest of lows. Disappointed is an understatement for how I’m feeling but it is what it is, all I can do is learn and grow from it.
“Gonna take some time off to spend with my wife and daughters but excited to get back in there later in the year and show a better version of myself. It was an honor to share the cage with [Edson Barboza], it was his night and he has all my respect! Thank [you] to my team, family, friends and all the fans for the support. This is all part of God’s plan and I trust it. I will keep chasing greatness.”
The bout ended up receiving “Fight of the Night” honors, which came with a special one-time payment of $75,000 apiece instead of the usual $50,000. Heading into Round 3, Barboza knew he had to fight with a sense of urgency due to the competitive nature of the fight.
“I think I won the first round. In the end of that round, I was able to connect some shots, and he almost dropped, so I think I clearly won that one,” Barboza said. “The second round was pretty even. My coaches said we could be up 2-0 or we could be tied 1-1, so I needed to go harder on that third. I trust my coaches, so I pushed harder on the third round and was fortunate to be able to connect a shot and walk out with a win.”